PhD Defense - A Legume a Day

Thank You to Everyone for Their Support

This October 2023, I presented my PhD defense and passed! I want to sincerely thank everyone for their support on this journey.

A Legume a Day PhD Defense done

I wanted to share the Acknowledgments section of my Dissertation, so that you hopefully can feel at least some of my gratitude coming your way!

Dissertation Acknowledgments Section

How do I write an Acknowledgements section that even comes close to doing justice to recognizing all the support I have received along my PhD journey? I feel incredibly blessed to have a strong network of mentors, colleagues, family, and friends, and I cannot thank you all enough.

Thank you to my wonderful Advisors and Committee members: Marisa Bunning, Michelle Foster, Henry Thompson, and Becca Jablonski. Your guidance – both in academia and in life – has been invaluable. Your emails responding to my questions at all hours of the day and constant words of encouragement have not gone unnoticed, nor have the times you brought me souvenirs from your trips, fresh vegetables from your gardens, or that we shared a meal, home baked goods, or a caffeinated beverage. Henry, a special acknowledgement to you for being one of the main reasons I found my true passion and future career path: beans and other pulses.

To the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department of Colorado State University (CSU): thank you professors for all the hours in the classroom, to the Department Heads and front office staff for keeping everything running and providing us with opportunities, to my fellow graduate students, to folks who shared conversations that encouraged me to keep going, and to my wonderful colleagues in Hospitality Management for your friendship and the chance to be your Graduate Teaching Assistant. To other colleagues CSU, especially the Food Systems team, thank you for your collaboration. And more broadly, to collaborators at other universities, I so appreciate you providing input on my research, supporting my academic journey, and even directly participating, like Karen and Carlos.

CSU Extension: I could not have accomplished this all without you. My sincere thanks for training me on how the Food Safety and Health team conducts outreach (especially Marisa, Jess, and Elisa), letting me stay at your home to test bean cooking times at higher elevation, for including me as part of the Horticulture team and buying me a lovely bean necklace when I had to step down to focus full-time on beans, for inviting me to the County Fair (Bean Dazzle, Alison!), farmers’ market, and other offices and research centers to talk about beans, for welcoming me at Food Systems meetings and events, for helping me spread the word about surveys, classes, and the Bean Cuisine citizen science project, and for all the other things in between, be they big or small. 

 A huge thank you to the amazing citizen scientists, class participants, and survey respondents that allowed this research to happen. I hope you enjoyed interacting with me at least half as much as I enjoyed and appreciated all of you. In addition, I appreciate everyone’s support via my outreach platform, A Legume a Day ( Also thank you to the Colorado Department of Agriculture for providing much of the funding for this research.

I also want to thank those in the bean industry for their support. You inviting me to speak at events around the country and internationally has brought so much joy and meaning to my life. It is a pleasure to learn from one another and meet other bean colleagues on these trips, and I feel blessed to have the chance to share the important message of beans with a wider audience. A special thanks to the US Dry Bean Council, Todo con Frijol, Beans is How, Colorado Dry Bean Committee, Northarvest, Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, Rocky Mountain Bean Dealers, and Michigan Bean Commission. Also thank you to all the growers who shared their knowledge and livelihood with me as I peppered them with questions, letting me visit them in the field and even hop in their tractor or combine. My thanks also goes out to a wide number of bean companies.  

And last but most certainly not least, thank you to family and friends. It would be a lie to say that every day was easy and positive – as is the case both in academia and in most endeavors. Your constant support and willingness to be a sounding board provided the energy to get me through rough patches, just as much as it was a joy to celebrate the successes together. To my incredible husband, Sungkyul, thank you for eating an inordinate amount of beans with me, and for listening to me happily babble on about beans on a daily basis. To my parents: I finally made it! Thank you for supporting my academic journey from the very, very beginning, and always telling me I could do this.

If I omitted your name, please know it was not intentional and feel my warm gratitude. Cheers to the next chapter of life, and may it be full of beans!

PhD Defense Presentation

Here is the thank you slide from my defense presentation.

Thank you slide for defense presentation

Want to Read About My Research?

I’m working on adding posts about my other work, but here are some things to get you started:


  1. Mary Pat Aukema

    Thank you for this great website. You have encouraged me to increase the number of being I eat in a week although I’m still wagging behind, I found one of the things I love is beans and pasta together. I made a casserole with kale, garlic, the water from the cooked beans, and the pasta water, beans, pasta, and sun-dried tomatoes, it was delicious. Do you have any more beans and pasta recipes hanging around? I sure would love it.

    • Thank you, that makes me so happy to hear! I hope you are enjoying your bean journey. 🙂 That pasta casserole dish sounds amazing! I have some pasta recipes, but often just using a bean/pulse-based pasta. We enjoy adding beans to pasta as well, but I don’t have recipes up with that yet. I will work on it!

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